• Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Sep 2, 2003
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 90
    [The Ravenonettes] help to remind us what makes harmless romantic music like Bobby Fuller and the Ronettes so perfectly dark. [#6, p.88]
  2. This is 33 minutes of pure pop bliss; there isn't a bad song or a missed opportunity anywhere here.
  3. Their whisper-thin, doo-wop harmonies, fuzzy guitars and barely-there percussion make the Strokes seem like Led Zeppelin. But that's not a bad thing.
  4. The beauty is in the album's concision and seamlessness. [5 Sep 2003, p.74]
  5. Cinematic, loaded and decadent. [Sep 2003, p.109]
  6. 80
    A full-length valentine to the Jesus and Mary Chain. [#60, p.110]
  7. That Jesus and Mary Chain vibe is still there, but this time around, the focus is almost exclusively on just how catchy Wagner and Foo can make each song, and the result is surprisingly effective.
  8. Even at a svelte 33 minutes, Chain Gang wears into a well-defined groove pretty quickly, and its breathy affectations too often congeal into pastiche, note-perfect homages lacking in depth.
  9. The Raveonettes have something the Mary Chain lost around the time of 'Automatic': an understanding of how to make a tight three minute pop song feel exhilarating.
  10. 80
    Chain Gang of Love promises racy thrills--and delivers them. [Sep 2003, p.128]
  11. The Chain Gang of Love is far more glossy and layered in melodies compared to Whip It On's gray-colored coolness.
  12. A miasma of retro cool. [Sep 2003, p.116]
  13. While a certain sameness sets in after minute 30, glittering amid the downtuning are perfect bazooka pop songs, both bubblegum and firepower.
  14. Has more to do with the Shangri Las' "Leader of the Pack", '60s sock hop and the Jesus Mary Chain than it does with Television, downtown Manhattan and pre-treated denim.
  15. Ultimately, Chain Gang suffers from a lack of depth, but it's not so painfully hollow that listening isn't kinda fun.
  16. As with Whip It On, Chain Gang's greatest virtue is that it's short enough not to wear out its welcome.
  17. Even for a band that crowbar "love" into as many titles as they can, you've got to admire their sauce, and, impressively, they're cramming really difficult music into affable scuzz-pop coatings.
  18. A solid, listenable album. [#5, p.108]
  19. Like a leather whip encased in a spun sugar cage, it is simultaneously deeply sexy yet innocent. And it’s that push-pull tension that keeps this album yanked together tighter than a PVC miniskirt.
  20. 40
    While Chain Gang Of Love only lasts 33 minutes, it still outstays its welcome. [Sep 2003, p.100]
  21. Two-thirds of the way through, the general banality becomes immensely wearisome: even though some songs barely reach the 90-second mark, there still seems to be an awful lot of them.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Julia
    Nov 4, 2006
    7
    While this album may drag on, it still has the sparkle of originality glossing over its banal charm. This is its saving grace. Oh, and saying While this album may drag on, it still has the sparkle of originality glossing over its banal charm. This is its saving grace. Oh, and saying things like "Let's make out and go out and meet some strangers" is always a hot addition to any set of lyrics. Full Review »
  2. ScottM
    Dec 18, 2005
    9
    Original. Sexy as hell. Retro. Electrifyingly alive!
  3. jeffm
    Dec 13, 2004
    10
    i'm hopelessly in love with these their romanticism. it is infectious, since these guys are just so coool. strong backbeats and song i'm hopelessly in love with these their romanticism. it is infectious, since these guys are just so coool. strong backbeats and song structures make me remember the ronettes et al, even if i'm not old enough to do so. this is truly great pop-rock and the fuzz is simply aesthetic ecstasy. extremely enjoyable. Full Review »